Barbers and beauty shops with broadband poise to offer telehealth services

Craig Settles is an original thinker. I recently saw him talk about a project to get barbers and beauticians involved in telehealth. Being honest I first thought of the Medieval Barber from SNL, and then I remembered how everyone – male and female, all walks and ways of the world – were so happy when the salons opened after quarantine. And I realized it was a pretty genius idea.

MHealth Intelligence wrote about his idea back in January…

 An innovative project in Ohio is using barbershops, hair salons and telehealth to screen people for hypertension.

Three Cleveland-area barbershops in urban neighborhoods are currently working with the Cleveland Clinc to screen patrons with mHealth-enabled blood pressure cuffs. Once the readings are taken and entered into a connected health platform developed by VSee, those patrons can then work with care providers to manage their blood pressure.

For some, the experience was life-saving.

“Ninety percent or more (of our) customers discover the first time they’re screen they have high blood pressure,” Waverley Willis, owner of the Urban Kutz barbershop, said in a story prepared by the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society. “Several customers’ blood pressure was so high they went straight to the ER, and a good number were well on their way to a stroke or a heart attack.”

The program is the brainchild of Craig Settles, a telehealth and broadband business planner, who wanted to find some way to improve care management for the African-American community – 40 percent of which are living with hypertension.

Craig is looking for some more cities to try this out. As he recently posted in a public discussion list..

I’ve got five cities ID’d for my barbershop/hair salon telehealth pilot program (Cleveland, Wilson County, NC, Chicago, Denver-area and possibly Topeka). I need five more, and I’m thinking some cities don’t have a broadband project lined up because they have to get the money spent by Christmas. This pilot addresses the time constraint.

I spoke with Craig and he’s interested in some rural areas too. If you’re interested, I encourage you get contact Craig for more info.

This entry was posted in Healthcare, Opportunities by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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